Saturday, March 31, 2007

Brian Bonsall Arrested

Yeah I didn't remember him too well when I heard the news either. I looked online for a picture of him to post so some of you may recognize him. He is Brian Bonsall from Family Ties, the show that made Michael J. Fox famous. Bonsall is not just under arrest, but for assaulting his girlfriend.

I will admit that stories like this should not be big, and I doubt that this story will get much attention. The reason why I believe that it has been reported is because a cute child star turned into a violent man. If this was DUI then I doubt that it would be news because he is not famous enough for people to care about an arrest like that. When Haley Joel Osment was arrested for DUI, he was still recognizable and people remembered who he was and what he looked like. Now look at Brian Bonsall. If I did not say that he was in Family Ties, would you have a clue who he is?

Personally, I find it sad when another child star gets in trouble. Mr. Bonsall was only on Family Ties for a few years, ending in 1989. He has not had an acting job in film or television since 1994. This is a reminder that if you were ever a child star, you really should spend the rest of your life on your best behavior.

Smashing Pumpkins 2007

Okay I'll have to admit that when the Smashing Pumpkins announced in 2005 that they would reunite, I thought it meant that they would actually perform no later than 2006. It is now official that they will perform their first show in Paris on May 22, 2007. I want to know why it took them so long.

I'll admit that while I feel that they have dragged their feet over their reunion, I'm happy that it did not get cancelled. I heard the song Tonight, Tonight on the radio yesterday, which I still feel is their best song. It reminded me of how much I missed the group.

There are two other groups that I am excited to see reunited. The first group is Genesis. I did not like listening to music until I heard the song Invisible Touch by Genesis in 1986. I remember getting their album that year. To me, they are more than a group. They are a memory of my childhood.

The second group is Van Halen, which has reunited with David Lee Roth. I will admit that I have always felt that Van Halen should have both David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar on tour together. Some of their songs are clearly for one singer or the other. I hope that Van Halen will eventually have a true reunion with both.

What I truly want from all three groups is to hear a new album from each of them. I don't want them to reunite merely to play classic songs. I want to hear something new and something good.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Finally Martin Scorsese Wins

To win an Oscar is different than winning the Super Bowl. In a football game, the winning team wins by scoring more points than the other team. An Oscar win can be more controversial. Controversies in sports games usually deal with mistakes made by referees, which can been seen during instant replay. Unlike sports competitions, the Academy Awards are awarded to artists. Therefore, those who win an Oscar win based on the opinions of others. Sometimes over time, people feel that some artists and films were “robbed” of Oscars. In many cases, some of the greatest actors, actresses, and directors of all time never win and Oscar.

The biggest running joke in the Oscars was the fact that Martin Scorsese had never won Best Director. During the Oscars last year the members of the rap group Three 6 Mafia won the Oscar for Best Song. The title of the song was It’s Hard Out Here For A Pimp. Host Jon Stewart make this joke about the Oscar count: “Martin Scorsese….. Zero….. Three 6 Mafia….. One.”

Martin Scorsese has twice lost Best Director to first time directors. In 1980, he lost to Robert Redford for Ordinary People, which happens to be my favorite film of all time. In 1990, he lost to Kevin Costner for Dances With Wolves. It’s one thing to lose Best Director, but those losses were for the masterpieces Raging Bull and Goodfellas. Martin Scorsese wasn’t even nominated for his classic Taxi Driver, which is my favorite of his films.

Martin Scorsese has finally won his Oscar for Best Director for The Departed. I’m proud to say that this was not a mercy Oscar, but that he truly deserved to win. The Departed also won Best Picture. Since the 70th Academy Awards (for the films of 1997), I have seen all five best picture nominees before the awards show. This year, I felt that The Departed was the best of the five films. I like four of the five films. The only one that I did not like was Babel.

Martin Scorsese’s win brings many people a feeling of justice. Martin Scorsese finally gets to hold a shiny Oscar of his own, which is not a lifetime achievement award. I feel truly happy for him.

My favorite actor of all time, Peter O’Toole, was nominated for Best Actor for the first time in 24 years. This would be his eighth nomination for acting, and the most nominations for an actor without a win. His film was Venus. His main competitor was Forest Whitaker for The Last King of Scotland. While I do not see every film with a nomination, I wanted to see both of these films so I can judge the competition between them. I hate to say this, but I hated the film Venus. I would say that it was a creepy version of Lost In Translation. I truly felt that with a few changes, it could have been a very good film. Peter O’Toole fit into the role with sadness in his eyes. His performance in Lawrence of Arabia is one of the greatest of all time. You can see how much his face has changed over 44 years. But even if the filmmakers had make the changes to the film that I would have wished, the performance of Forest Whitaker in The Last King of Scotland would still win the Oscar. Forest Whitaker plays the late dictator Ida Amin of Uganda. I was familiar with Ida Amin from the documentary General Idi Amin Dada by Barbet Schroeder. Forest Whitaker fit into this role perfectly. While Idi Amin was creepy in the film, he was supposed to be. Idi Amin was charismatic, creepy, outspoken, and evil. Forest Whitaker’s performance was not supposed to be endearing. He filled the role of Idi Amin with the perfect sense of both charisma and brutality. Not only was The Last King of Scotland a better film than Venus, but Forest Whitaker truly deserved to win the Oscar.

Helen Mirren’s win for Best Actress for The Queen was well deserved. While she fit into the role perfectly, I don’t want to focus on the performance. I want to tell whoever reads this that the film is actually entertaining. Every year there are films up for major awards in which the audience actually finds boring. I’ll admit that The Queen actually looks boring, but looks are deceiving in this case. The film is about the days after Princess Diana’s death. While Helen Mirren won her Oscar for Best Actress, the only thing that saddens me about the film is that Michael Sheen was not nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his perfect portrayal of Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Jennifer Hudson won Best Supporting Actress for her debut in Dreamgirls. This win was predicted and deserved. I saw Dreamgirls and felt that she stole the show from Beyonce, who was supposed to be the real star of the film. I would say that even though Jennifer Hudson left American Idol with some bad feelings, she should have at least thanked them during her acceptance speech. If American Idol did not give her the opportunity to sing on national television, she probably would not have received her role in Dreamgirls.

The biggest shock of the night was Eddie Murphy losing Best Supporting Actor for Dreamgirls to Alan Arkin for Little Miss Sunshine. Eddie Murphy gave the performance of his life. I feel that he may have lost the Oscar because the voters may have been annoyed with the commercials for his new film Norbit, which critics have hated. Maybe the voters felt that he made Dreamgirls only to return to crappy films. I have sat through many bad films, but I’ll admit that I had to turn off The Adventures of Pluto Nash because it was absolutely horrible. If what I believe is true, then Norbit will have been the first film in the history of the Academy Awards to actually lose an actor his award. I do feel good that since the award did not go to Eddie Murphy, that it went to Alan Arkin, who received his first Oscar nomination 40 years ago. He was nominated twice in the 1960s, losing both times. But I’ll admit that I felt that Alan Arkin’s role in Little Miss Sunshine wasn't big enough.

The Academy Awards will never please everyone and they are not supposed to. For every winner, there are several losers. I will summarize my feelings by saying that I feel bad for Peter O’Toole and Eddie Murphy while I feel very happy for Forest Whitaker, Alan Arkin, and Martin Scorsese.
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